The Impact of Tax Rates Toronto Economy

Tax rates play a crucial role in shaping the economic landscape of cities worldwide. In Toronto, tax rates are no exception, and they significantly impact the city’s economy. In this article, we will explore the key ways in which tax rates influence Toronto’s economy and its competitiveness.

Attracting Businesses to Tax Rates Toronto

Tax rates are among the most critical factors businesses consider when deciding where to locate. A lower tax rate can be an attractive incentive for companies to move to a particular city. Toronto’s tax rates are currently relatively high compared to other cities in North America. However, the city’s other advantages, such as its highly skilled workforce and diverse economy, can still make it a competitive choice for businesses.

According to a 2019 report from the Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank, Toronto ranks 55th out of 125 cities around the world in terms of its business tax competitiveness. The report measures the total tax burden on businesses, including corporate income tax, property tax, and other business taxes. The report found that Toronto’s tax burden is higher than other major Canadian cities, such as Vancouver, Montreal, and Calgary.

While high tax rates may deter some businesses, other factors, such as access to talent and a supportive business environment, can still make Toronto an attractive location. In recent years, Toronto has emerged as a hub for technology startups, with many companies choosing to locate in the city’s downtown core. The city’s skilled workforce, diverse population, and high quality of life have contributed to its appeal as a business location.

Impact on Small Businesses

Tax rates also significantly impact small businesses, which are the backbone of Toronto’s economy. High taxes can make it challenging for small businesses to stay afloat, as they have fewer resources to devote to tax compliance. In response, the city offers tax breaks and incentives to small businesses to help offset the burden of high taxes.

The city’s small business tax rate is currently set at 4.5% and is one of the lowest in Canada. The rate applies to businesses with a taxable capital of up to $500,000. Small businesses also have access to other tax incentives, such as the Ontario small business deduction and the federal small business deduction.

These programs can make a significant difference for small businesses, allowing them to invest in growth and create jobs. In 2019, small businesses accounted for 97.9% of all companies in Toronto and employed 42.3% of the city’s workforce. Supporting small businesses is essential for the city’s economy, and tax policies can create a favorable business environment.

Employment and Wages

Tax rates can also significantly impact employment and wages in Toronto. Higher taxes can lead to lower employment and wages, as businesses have less money to invest in hiring and increasing salaries. Conversely, lower taxes can lead to higher employment levels and wages.

In 2020, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) reported that high taxes were one of Ontario’s top barriers to job creation. The report surveyed small business owners across the province and found that 64% of respondents identified taxes as a significant obstacle to hiring new employees.

The decision of businesses to hire or lay off workers is often influenced by tax rates, as labor costs are a significant expense for most companies. High taxes can make it more challenging for businesses to invest in hiring and training new employees, which can limit job creation and wage growth.

Tax Rates Toronto

Overall Economic Impact On Tax Rates Toronto

The impact of tax rates on Toronto’s economy is not limited to individual businesses or sectors. Tax rates also influence the overall growth and investment in the city. A lower tax rate can encourage more city investment, leading to increased economic activity, job creation, and higher wages. Conversely, a higher tax rate can deter investment and lead to a sluggish economy.

In recent years, Toronto has experienced robust economic growth, with a GDP of $344.2 billion in 2019, making it the largest economy in Canada. The city’s economy is diverse, with strengths in finance, technology, and professional services. However, maintaining this growth requires the city to remain competitive and attractive to businesses.

The city’s tax policy is a critical factor in maintaining Toronto’s economic competitiveness. The city must balance the need for revenue to fund public services and infrastructure with maintaining a competitive tax rate. High taxes can lead to businesses relocating to other cities, taking jobs and economic activity with them.



Tax rates significantly impact Toronto’s economy, affecting businesses of all sizes and sectors, employment levels, wages, and overall economic growth. While high tax rates may deter some companies, other factors, such as access to talent and a supportive business environment, can still make Toronto an attractive location. The city’s small business tax rate and tax incentives can help support the city’s vital small business sector. Ultimately, Toronto’s tax policy must balance generating revenue and maintaining a competitive tax rate to ensure continued economic growth and prosperity for the city and its residents.